THE BRONX — A Bronx priest accused of abusing minors has resigned from the board of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts.
Father Richard Gorman, director of prison chaplains for the archdiocese, has been accused of abusing minors 30 years ago, and he will not be allowed to function publicly as a priest until the accusations are resolved, according to the Archdiocese of New York.
Gorman had previously sat on the board of the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, a Lehman College institution that showcases events like concerts and ballets, but he decided to resign in light of the recent allegations, the center wrote in a statement.
"The PAC is saddened to hear of these allegations regarding Fr. Gorman," the statement reads. "We hope these allegations are addressed fairly and with deliberate speed.”
Gorman had also served as chairman of Bronx Community Board 12, which serves neighborhoods including Williamsbridge and Baychester, but he has stepped down from that position as well, according to his attorney Murray Richman.
The church reported the accusations of abuse to law enforcement officials, who have determined that they are credible but have not yet substantiated them, according to a statement from the archdiocese.
The Westchester County District Attorney's office was notified of the accusations but determined that the statute of limitations on them had run out for a criminal investigation, the prosecutor's spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.
"There may be civil remedies as it relates to him and the archdiocese, but in terms of criminal, the statute of limitations expired," he said.
Mike Reck, the lawyer for an alleged victim of Gorman, said his client came forward to ensure that the priest would never again be in a position where he was around children and was unsure if they would pursue legal action against him.
Richman stressed that he believed his client was an innocent man.
"I don’t necessarily believe the existence of these charges at all," he said. "They’re a little late in coming."
Joseph Zwilling, communications director for the Archdiocese of New York, said that the church still considered Gorman's case unresolved.
"We will continue to work with the DA’s office and continue to have the matter reviewed by outside professionals," he said.